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It was discussed on Arrêt sur image last week with Philippe Ridet, who follows NS around for Le Monde. Asked why he accepted this compromising familiarity, Ridet said he personally found it difficult to use the formal "vous" with someone who called him "tu". One wonders how many people, and which ones, he would apply this precept to!?
This is all about "access", and the political figure handing out favours. And journalists playing the game instead of keeping the necessary professional distance.
I don't agree with your final paragraph. True, there is insufficient investigative journalism in France. But your picture of journalists spending their time swigging wine while thinking up puns is yet another of the reactionary stereotypes you like to spout.
Tell us rather about the "automatic" transparence of Nordic journalists. How does that work?
which means practically that any journalist can walk up to any public office and ask them to open their files and they cannot deny. Any file entering and leaving an admnistration must have a special number, according a special system. Both the computer/paper file must be archived at least 10 years. If a civil servant "loses" a file, they often get into trouble.
if somebody within a public (or private) office "leaks" information because he/she finds out that something illegal or immoral is happening, that person cannot be prosecuted. If the person remains anonymous which is often the case, it is forbidden in law to try to trace that person.
to go back to the original discussion : the rat game between people of power and journalists has always existed and of course is worse in a non-transparent system (thus the Nordic comparison). Of course there are media whores in France but sometimes I wonder if they get to the level of Judith Miller, not to talk about "creations" like Jeff Gannon. So talking about "vous" and "tu", organized receptions and legion of honors, not mentioning who is sleeping with who is only the top of the iceberg. If the journalist culture was more into investigation and real interrogation about what is really going on, the French media would be better. Whining about "look at the American freedom of press (???)" or the "BBC is best" won't help. When will French journalist organisations act for lawmaking "à la Swedish" ? I bet that 99% of them don't even know it exists.
that was my point and obviously irony isn't understood.
If the journalist culture was more into investigation and real interrogation about what is really going on, the French media would be better.
Sure, I agree with that. But I think the main reason is not happening is that the media belong mostly to private interests who have consolidated their power over the last twenty years, and who have no intention of paying people to work as you say.
Sorry if my irony detector was on the blink...
I'm like that. Even when I don't feel comfortable using the familiar with someone, if they consistently address me that way I'll start finding my use of the formal somewhat awkward. It might have something to do with the fact that my primary linguistic socialization was in English, but even there you have the first name thing going which I find annoying from people who I don't know and am not interacting with in an informal setting, but I still tend to swallow my discomfort and go along.
As the older rock critic reminded the young protagonist in Almost Famous ... they are the enemy (or maybe that was a member of the band telling the protagonist 'you are the enemy').
I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
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